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Purana Mandir (The Old Temple): There Can Be Only One

Purana Mandir is  one of the Ramsay’s Big 5 and one look at the film confirms that for newer fans. The film has one of the biggest starcast the Ramsays ever had. Puneet Issar, Mohnish Behl, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Pradeep Kumar, Lalita Pawar, Satish Shah, Aarti Gupta, Sadhna Khote, Dheeraj Kumar and others. The film is the first known introduction of the iconic character ‘Saamri’ and one of the few Ramsay films that show a medieval scene. Trust us, when it comes to Bollywood Horror films from the ’80s, it doesn’t get bigger than this.

Purana Mandir Synopsis:

Suman and Sanjay are a couple in love, but their relationship is not appreciated by Suman’s father, who is a rich father. While the couple think that the Thakur is against their relationship because of the rich and poor divide, the truth is something quite different.

The Thakurs have been cursed by an evil entity, Saamri, that he will kill all the women of their household on the day of their wedding. This is because the family had earlier captured Saamri for his criminal and black magic activities. They had decapitated him and kept the body somewhere else and the head, under an old temple.

Hearing this, Suman, Sanjay and another couple, Anand and Sapna, decide to go to the old temple in Bijapur, where the head is hidden. They face opposition from the head of a local tribe-leader. They break down the temple wall and see Saamri’s decapitated head that’s placed in a treasure-chest. They decide to leave it there and rebuild the temple wall the next day.

However, the house servants, who always suspected that the treasure chest has treasure, try to open the chest, and are overpowered by Saamri’s evil power. Sanga, the caretaker, under Saamri’s power, connects the head and body together – reigniting the fight between the Thakurs and Saamri.

As the demon is brought back to life, he wreaks havoc and kills Sapna. Meanwhile, Suman and Sanjay are captured by the tribals, as they blame the two for the fresh problems that they now face. Even as Suman and Sanjay escape the tribals, Anand is mad with rage, looking for Saamri, the killer of his wife. How all these people finally defeat the demon who is on a killing spree forms the rest of the film.

Purana Mandir Review:

This is, by far, the best that comes from the Ramsay stable. There are so many story arcs in this film, and yet there’s not a moment of boredom for the average viewer. This is also one of the first times that a woman is shown fighting the devil – only to be killed, but what matters is that the Ramsays didn’t bother with the ‘log kya kahenge’ trope and legit showed a woman fighting the demon.

The film is also a revelation in terms of production values. There’s no more smoke screens and bad lighting. The Ramsays had so come far in the prosthetic game by this fim that they actually say, ‘Come on, Camera, let’s do this’.

Bonus, the film has one of the popular songs in Bollywood, ‘Woh Beete Din Yaad Hai’, The song became famous in the nineties again. You can watch the whole film here:

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